Put Out (Kilgore Fire Book 5)(8)

By: Lani Lynn Vale



“Ariel…”

“Dad was there,” she blurted.

That news surprised me.

Our father didn’t go to anything of ours.

Literally, nothing.

Not a volleyball game, nor soccer or baseball. Not our graduation from high school, nor the one from college. Not even to Alec’s children’s births or Elise’s.

Literally, my father did nothing for us, so hearing that he was at Ariel’s awards ceremony was just plain surprising.

“He didn’t come for me,” Ariel admitted. “He came for Bitsy.”

My mouth tightened.

Bitsy was his wife. A wife who kind of sort of hated us.

Not that we didn’t return the favor, but still.

“Why?” I asked. “What’s there to see?”

 “She has his balls shoved down so deep into her pocket that he has no choice but to come if she bids him to,” Alec complained. “Likely, he was there because she asked him to be; most likely because she didn’t want to see you or me.”

“We didn’t go, though,” I informed him.

“She didn’t know that,” he said. “The last time she saw you, you let her know that you didn’t take too kindly to her adultering ways.”

I laughed.

I had done that.

The bitch deserved it, though.

What did she expect?

The woman had wormed her way into his life when my dad was most vulnerable, sucked him into her Venus flytrap of a vagina, and then ordered him to leave his wife and kids if he wanted to stay with her.

So yes, the bitch deserved it.

Our dad wasn’t even our dad anymore, even though Ariel tried as hard as she could to get him to pay attention to her.

“Did he say anything to you?” I asked her.

Ariel nodded her head, her curly black hair falling over her shoulder as she did.

We all looked alike.

There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that we were the hell spawn of Taryn and Tommy Soco.

My mother was half black, and half Native American while my father was half Italian and half Puerto Rican.

We had my mom’s skin tone, my father’s honey colored eyes, my mom’s long limbed physique, and my father’s hair.

We were the perfect blend of two of the most beautiful people—on the outside anyway.

Ariel’s ringlets were almost identical to mine, only my hair was about four inches longer than hers.

Her eyes, exactly like mine and Alec’s, stared at me with a haunted look to them.

“He did.”

“And what did he have to say?” I asked tightly.

“He said that he’s sorry he missed your birthday and that he’ll get your birthday present to you next week when Bitsy is out of town,” she admitted reluctantly.

Alec laughed before I could, and I turned to him with hilarity in my eyes.

“We’re both going to hell,” I told him.

“Yup,” he agreed. “She probably doesn’t realize that he’s going to give you a present, otherwise the bitch would’ve thrown a fit and informed him that they didn’t have the money to waste on his kids.”

“No shit,” I said. “She’s something else.”

“She’s going to be my teacher next year,” Ariel murmured. “There’s no way that she’s not going to be. She’s the only chemistry teacher we have.”

I pursed my lips.

“Can’t you take college credits?” I asked.

A truck pulled into our lot, but at the same moment Alec asked, “Will you hand me a three-quarter-inch wrench, Ang?”

“Yes, I can use college credits,” she said, sounding contemplative. “Why?”

I handed Alec the wrench, then turned back to her as I waited for whomever was pulling up to the bay doors to come in and announce him or herself.

“So, this summer you’ll take chemistry, and then that’ll transfer to your high school and college credits. Two birds, one stone,” I said, proud of myself for thinking of it.

“Alec.”

That voice, oh God, that voice.

Turning around, I lifted the cookie that I’d stolen from Ariel to my mouth and ate it in one bite.

“Hey, man,” Alec called to Bowe. “I’ll be with you in just a few.”

“Need a hand?” he asked.

Alec shifted his large bulk sideways and grunted. “Wouldn’t mind it.”

And just like that, Bowe was pressed up against me, for the second time in less than twenty-four hours.

How was a woman supposed to deal with situations such as these?

If I moved to one side, I’d bump into Ariel. Alec blocked me from the front. Bowe from the back, and Alec’s tool chest finished off the box from the other side.

Just, perfect.

At least today I was in jeans and a t-shirt instead of bike shorts and a tight top.

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